A Beginner's Guide to Starting a Garden at Home


Every day we do small things to help better our earth, such as recycling or reusing items. When we garden, we are reducing energy costs, pollution, and essentially our carbon footprint. It can also be very therapeutic. Today I will be sharing with you the steps to easily start your own at home garden.

First, you must decide what type of garden you would like. There is vegetable, fruit, herb, flower, and plenty more to choose from. Once you have chosen your type of garden, pick a spot in your back or front yard where your plants will receive lots of sunlight and be in a stable environment. You'll want to ensure that the sunlight your plants are receiving is bright but not direct in Texas, meaning that Eastern facing location with shade in the heat of the afternoon will be the best. 

Begin to clear the spot and remove the sod - removing all of the roots will ensure less competition once your plants start to grow. The better the soil you use when amending your garden plot, the better your plants will be, so be sure to invest in good soil with lots of nutrients. You can also add organic matter such as compost, a decaying plant or animal material. Once the spot is ready and prepared, you may plant the seeds or seedlings. You may want to start your plants indoors following the steps in our "Gardening with Toilet Paper Rolls" blog post. 

Elgin is in Zone 8B, so to ensure the success of your garden, make sure you pick plants that reflect our environment. Hardiness zones encompass various climate conditions that determine plant growth and survival and are defined by the lowest annual temperature. 

Spending time outside and working on a project such as gardening is not only good for the environment, but good for our mental and physical health as well. It is able to benefit all, young and old. 

Written By: Loren Marcos - Elgin Rec Center  |  Photo Credit: Elizabeth Marzec - Program Manager